2019 Audi R8 revealed with more power & radical new design
Usually, a facelift sees a car’s design tweaked ever so slightly here and there. In some cases, the changes can be so mild, that even veteran car aficionados have trouble distinguishing them. For the facelifted Audi R8 however...christ!
Even Helen Keller on a bucking bronco could tell that this R8 is radically different to its predecessor. If the old car were to drive through the Chernobyl exclusion zone, I imagine it would come out looking a bit like this. New lines have appeared, and old ones have grown outward. To my eyes, it looks truly nuclear - in the absolute best way possible.
Along with the new aesthetics comes handling improvements. While the purists will be hoping that sentence refers to additional oversteer, unfortunately, Audi’s improvements translate to extra stability. Happily however, the steering - in both standard and dynamic form - has received a recalibration to give the driver more feedback, and the car extra sharpness. As far as I’m concerned though, the dynamic steering will always be the one to avoid.
Most interestingly of all is the additional power Audi has given the R8. The standard V10 has been chipped, so power shoots up healthily from 533bhp to 562! The V10 Plus on the other hand - which is now called the R8 Performance - sees a more modest power increase, from 602 to 611bhp, thanks to the aggrandisement of a titanium valve train.
Thanks to the extra power, the standard car now gets from 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds (compared to 3.5 for the old car), and the Performance in 3 seconds flat (compared to 3.2 in the old Plus). It’s also worth mentioning that the “V10” part of the name has now been dropped for the facelifted cars. Perhaps that quells rumours of a Twin-Turbo V6 being added to the range.
It’s not all good news, however. Thanks to emissions regulations, 44lbs (20kg) worth of technology has had to be added to keep the harmful gases within the increasingly strict rules. If that’s the price to have a normally aspirated engine though, then so be it.
The MK2 R8 has never really managed to capture the essence of the original. It’s always been a bit too tech-focused; a bit too insistent that it knows better than you. While I’m not sure Audi’s changes will assuage any of those problems, I am sure that it’s a better car now than it was before. And you can’t really hope for more than that.
But now I want to ask you guys: what do you think of the new Audi R8? Do you like the new design, and do you think their changes will amount to it being a much better car overall? Let me know in the comments.
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